MFS Students Travel to Los Angeles for Climate Study Conference

by Shelby Deibler ’20

Photo caption: Henry Powell ’20, Jess Cerasaro ‘20, and Shelby Deibler ’20 with advisor John Trunkwalter

In July, three Upper School students traveled to Los Angeles for the five-day Satellite and Education Conference. The conference, entitled MYSPACE (Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climate Events), is hosted by the Satellite Educators Association and held at California State University Los Angeles.

Jess Cerasaro ’20, Shelby Deibler ’20, and Henry Powell ’20 represented MFS during the week-long study of this year’s topic, urban heat islands. The group’s research began during the second and third quarters as a SEE (Science and Engineering Exposition) project, but with the guidance of Mr. Newman and Mr. Trunkwalter, their project turned into a serious, local study on how athletic turf fields contribute to the urban heat island effect.

“MYSPACE was such a great experience,” Jess says. “It was so cool to have our SEE project research turned into an actual study on urban heat islands. I really liked the way we were able to collaborate with students from across the globe. My favorite part was touring the Jet Propulsion Lab and sightseeing in LA!”

The conference allowed the students to meet with youth from around the world researching the same topic, and gave them a chance to collaborate, creating a larger, unified project at the end of the week. Advisor John Trunkwalter says that “MFS students’ participation in the 2018 MYSPACE program consisted of a long week of hard work, which included honing their collaboration, communication, and leadership skills. They also managed to fit in some down time with a guided tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).”

This tour provided the unique opportunity to engage with scientists and engineers directly involved in research missions to Mars, Jupiter, Europa, Pluto, and many others. Visiting places like the JPL and Cal State with students from several different countries made this trip a unique experience for the MFS team.